The Saskatchewan-made documentary series Flat Out Food will be featuring the Prince Albert area in an upcoming episode on Wednesday, April 26.
The episode is titled ‘Bison’ and will feature both Bison Ridge Farms and the Elk Ridge Resort.
The show is in its third season being produced by Halter Media. It airs on CityTV Saskatchewan. The first season was six episodes, season two was five episodes and the current season is eight episodes.
“We started filming season one in 2020 which was a weird year to start anything,” said Adrian Halter, the producer and director of Halter Media.
“We call it a Saskatchewan field to plate journey. Each episode focuses on one ingredient and our host, Jenn Sharp, travels across the province in search of different producers, food artisans, growers and restaurants and chefs and follows that ingredient on its journey from the forest, the field, the lake all the way to the plate at a restaurant.”
The episode on Bison features Elk Ridge, Bison Ridge Farms, Wanuskewin Heritage Park and Flying Dust First Nation. The production team was in the Prince Albert region in September 2022.
Halter said being at Elk Ridge in late September really gave them great visuals with the colours turning to Fall.
“Visually it was absolutely stunning to be out there and film there. We had full access to the grounds and to the kitchen and the fine dining restaurant there, The Frederick,” Halter said.
The Flat Out Food crew filmed in Elk Ridge for three days and two nights and focused on the bison dishes on their menu. Halter said getting the opportunity to showcase the resort and that part of Saskatchewan was a great experience.
The people at Elk Ridge were also very helpful to the crew according to Halter.
“I should mention Ryan Danberg and Roxanne Danberg at Elk Ridge they were just incredibly helpful and open and receptive to us coming there,” Halter said.
The crew also filmed at Bison Ridge, a 150-head bison ranch located west of Prince Albert, on the banks of North Saskatchewan River that’s operated by Denver and Becky Johnson.
“They are just two amazing people,” Halter said. “We get to share a little bit of their story and what they are doing with their bison and how they are raising their bison and how much they have grown in the last couple of years. They have had phenomenal growth, even after we finished filming. I think they are just about ready to open their own a new facility on their property. It was a great experience to film with them.”
Halter said that being in a documentary sounds like an interesting thing, but lots of work goes into it.
“It’s really time consuming for the people so we are very cognisant of that and also just very thankful that people are willing to give up (their time), because it’s not just one or two hours when our crew comes. It’s not like a quick news hit that people are familiar with,” he said.
They were at each location for 12 to 14 hours. Halter said both Elk Ridge and Bison Ridge were great partners in the production.
The show also is educational for the producers, according to Halter.
“I know quite a bit bout food and agriculture. I have been doing this a long time, not just this show but the work that I have done in the past prior to this. It’s an interest of mine, but I learn something every single time that we go. We are going to the experts and so they always have so much information to share,” he said.
“If you have just seen the trailer or watched a tiny bit of the show, I think people are initially like, ‘oh, it’s a really cool portrait of Saskatchewan visually,’ and it is that but I think one of our goals is to expand people’s knowledge about food in our province and how it is made but also about the individual ingredients,” he added.
Some examples he gave of other episodes that also teach a bit about Saskatchewan food is Chanterelle Mushrooms and Wild Rice.
“I think people are surprised. If you have never bought wild rice from someone from Saskatchewan you might not know that over half of Canada’s wild rice is produced in Saskatchewan so it is very educational as well as being a nice portrait of Saskatchewan,” Halter said.
Halter explained that the crew have been fortunate to tour around Saskatchewan for the last three summers to produce the show and visit all of the amazing sites around the province.
“I think as people from Saskatchewan sometimes we forget how awesome things can be here,” he said. “We get tied down and bogged down in the cold and we are always looking to go somewhere else. I think there’s a lot of amazing things right here in our own back yard and it’s worth looking into them and exploring them and I hope the show gives people a glimpse into that.”
The show is only broadcast on CityTV in Saskatchewan and they will also be introducing a podcast in May with more background about the show and its production.
“You can’t access it outside of the province which we are always a little frustrated by. We wish that everyone could access and see Saskatchewan, but it actually does air internationally. We have sold the show to New Zealand and Hong Kong so there is people out there in the world that get to see a glimpse of Saskatchewan as well not just people here,” Halter said.
The Bison episode will air on Wednesday, April 26. Episodes premiere every Wednesday night on CityTV at 10 p.m. CST. Episodes replay on Saturday nights at 8 p.m. CST and Sunday nights at 10:30pm CST on CityTV.